Upper Rhine Plain: Difference between revisions

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The '''Upper Rhine Plain''',<ref>{{Dickinson's Germany}}</ref> '''Rhine Rift Valley'''<ref name="Elkins" /> or '''Upper Rhine Graben'''<ref name="Dèzes">{{cite journal|last=Dèzes|first=P. |author2=Schmid S.M. |author3=Ziegler P.A.|year=2004|title=Evolution of the European Cenozoic Rift System: interaction of the Alpine and Pyrenean orogens with their foreland lithosphere|journal=[[Tectonophysics (journal)|Tectonophysics]]|volume=389|pages=1–33|doi=10.1016/j.tecto.2004.06.011|url=http://pages.unibas.ch/earth/tecto/research/dezes_ziegler.pdf|accessdate=June 3, 2010|bibcode = 2004Tectp.389....1D|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110927151514/http://pages.unibas.ch/earth/tecto/research/dezes_ziegler.pdf|archivedate=September 27, 2011|df=}}</ref> ([[German language|German]]: ''Oberrheinische Tiefebene'', ''Oberrheinisches Tiefland'' or ''Oberrheingraben'', [[French language|French]]: ''Vallée du Rhin'') is a major [[rift]], about {{convert|350|km|mi|adj=mid|-long}} and on average {{convert|50|km|mi|adj=mid|-wide}}, between [[Basel]] in the south and the cities of [[Frankfurt]]/[[Wiesbaden]] in the north. Its southern section straddles the border between [[France]] and [[Germany]]. It forms part of the [[European Cenozoic Rift System]], which extends across central Europe. The Upper Rhine Graben formed during the [[Oligocene]] as a response to the evolution of the [[Alps]] to the south and remains active to the present day. Today, the Rhine Rift Valley forms a downfaulted trough through which the river [[Rhine]] flows.
{{wide image|Oberrheinische Tiefebene 2006-09 Pfalz.jpg|700px|The Upper Rhine Plain, view from west to east. Front: a vineyard near [[Neustadt an der Weinstraße]], background: [[Mannheim]] (right: Mannheim Power Station, far north: the [[Odenwald]]||right}}
==Seismic activity==
In 1356, the [[Basel earthquake]] occurred in the Rhine Plain. It was perhaps the most destructive earthquake ever in [[northwest Europe]], destroying the city of [[Basel]] and flattening buildings as far as 200&nbsp;km away. It was the most significant historic seismological event to have occurred in Central Europe. Its epicenter was between [[Waldkirch]] and [[Sankt Peter, Baden-Württemberg|St. Peter]] in [[Breisgau-Hochschwarzwald]]. However, it remains disputed whether the fault that ruptured to cause this earthquake was part of the Rhine Valley extensional system, or simply one of the many [[thrust faults]] that make up the [[Alps]] to the south. Doubts have been raised over the adequacy of the seismic evaluation and design of the [[Fessenheim Nuclear Power Plant]], built in the Rhine Plain close to the faults.<ref name=resonance>[http://www.kantonslabor-bs.ch/files/presse/93_3_Expertise-Fessenheim-f.pdf Centrale Nucléaire de Fessenheim : appréciation du risque sismique] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110720000723/http://www.kantonslabor-bs.ch/files/presse/93_3_Expertise-Fessenheim-f.pdf |date=2011-07-20 }} RÉSONANCE Ingénieurs-Conseils SA, published 2007-09-05, accessed 2011-03-30</ref>
==Upper Rhine aquifer==
== Research ==
A collaboration of 25 universities and government agencies have been researching seismic hazards, neotectonics, and water management of the Quaternary Graben fill. The research focuses on four themes [https://web.archive.org/web/20070726064433/http://comp1.geol.unibas.ch/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1]:
* "[[Neotectonics]] and Seismic Hazard (Identification of zones of on-going deformation. Present stress regime. Earthquake location & frequency. Hazard assessment.)"
* "Modeling of Hydro systems (Modeling of Plio-Quaternary hydro systems of the Upper Rhine Graben and of transfer time of pollutants within them)"
==External links==
* [https://web.archive.org/web/20070726064433/http://comp1.geol.unibas.ch/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 EUCOR-URGENT]
* [http://www.oberrheinkonferenz.org/ Franco-German-Swiss Conference of the Upper Rhine]